Pathways To Learning... Since 2005
Hong Kong Registered School 566985

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Ronald Lau

Mathematics & STEP Teacher

Qualifications :

M.Math (Cambridge), M.Sc. (Oxford), M.A. (Cambridge)

Subjects :

Mathematics, STEP

Ronald started working in ITS soon after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (in Mathematics) and a Master of Mathematics degree from the University of Cambridge (Churchill College), which also happened to be not long after ITS was founded. In 2011, he took an 18-month sabbatical to go back to study a Master of Science degree in Mathematics and the Foundation of Computer Science from the University of Oxford (Exeter College) before coming back to continue working for ITS. Immensely popular with students, Ronald is our longest serving teacher and has qualifications and experience that surpass any Maths tutor you are likely to find inHong Kong.

On becoming a teacher:

While the many, if not most, jobs could benefit from the skills acquired from learning Mathematics, and a great number of them specifically use mathematical knowledge, there aren’t many jobs which allow me to do and talk about Mathematics all the time – 100% of the job description. Working in a non-mainstream school like ITS, with its one-to-one and small class model is also important to me. I get a closer relationship with students and do not have the bureaucracy that blights the life of a mainstream school teacher.

Mathematics is a field where people from a number of other disciplines could legitimately claim to be competent – I personally know some great Mathematics tutors who are not Mathematicians per se. But I find that, more often than not, the pictures painted of Mathematics by non-Mathematicians are skewed: when a user of mathematics only tells you what you need to know in order to do what you need it to do, rather than connects the concepts and instructions together with history, motivations, alternatives, analogies and parallels. 

Because of what I perceive to be the widespread misunderstanding of what Mathematics is, I want to try my hardest to dispel the myths around it. And so it is when I finally manage to show a student what Mathematics is like, as I see it, that I find the most satisfying.

Interests that reflect on my personality as a teacher:

I am a keen fan of Formula 1 racing. It is a sport with large teams of hundreds of people, all experts in their respective fields, working together within the rules and regulations to extract every last bit of advantage through complex strategies, data-driven decision making and ingenious engineering solutions. When you also consider that a driver loses up to 3kg of sweat from the heat inside the car, over the course of around 1.5 hours sustaining peak G-force of 7G around corners with their neck and arms while accurately steer, navigate the 20 or so controls on the steering wheel and consider their strategy, it is easy to see it as a fascinating and indeed mathematical exercise.

Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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